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PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS. DR. ARRA PSY 202. Psychological Disorders. Psychopathology – refers to patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that disrupt a person’s sense of well-being or social or occupational functioning What is ‘normal’??? DSM - IV. Psychological Disorders.

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PSY 202

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Psychological Disorders

Psychopathology – refers to patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that disrupt a person’s sense of well-being or social or occupational functioning

  • What is ‘normal’???

  • DSM - IV

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Psychological Disorders

Identifying Abnormal Behavior

  • Statistical Infrequency

  • Disability or Dysfunction

  • Personal Distress

  • Violation of Societal Norms

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Psychological Disorders

Insanity – legal term applied when people cannot be held responsible for their actions or allowed to manage their own affairs because of mental illness

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Psychological Disorders


  • Diathesis-stress model – people with an underlying predisposition (genetic) may become symptomatic under stressful circumstances

  • Systems approach – attempt to explain a person’s behavior in the context of the social group (family, couple, larger social system)

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Psychological Disorders

  • Family Systems Model – suggests that symptoms of an individual are really symptoms of dysfunction in a family

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Psychological Disorders


  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV

  • Published by the American Psychiatric Association

  • Basis for descriptive diagnosis

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Psychological Disorders

  • Axis I – clinical disorders

  • Axis II – personality disorders and MR

  • Axis III – relevant medical conditions

  • Axis IV – psychosocial and environmental problems

  • Axis V – Global assessment of functioning


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Psychological Disorders

How diagnosis occurs

  • Differential Diagnosis

  • Exclusionary Model

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Psychological Disorders

What assessment tools/techniques are used?

  • Clinical Interviews

  • Observations

  • Standardized Tests, Checklists, Questionnaires

  • Projectives/ Subjective Assessments

  • Medical history

  • School/Work history

  • Family history

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Psychological Disorders


  • ADHD

  • Schizophrenia

    individuals loose touch with reality

    + symptoms = hallucinations, delusions

    - symptoms = flat affect, poor social skills

    highly genetic brain disease

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Psychological Disorders


  • Dysthymic Disorder

  • Major Depression

  • Bipolar

  • Phobias

  • OCD

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Psychological Disorders



Personality Disorders

  • Chronic and severe disturbances that inhibit the capacity to love and work

  • Enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individuals culture; is pervasive and inflexible

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Psychological Disorders

  • Paranoid Personality Disorder: a pattern of distrust and suspiciousness such that others’ motives are interpreted as malevolent

  • Schizoid Personality Disorder: a pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of emotional expression

  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder: a pattern of acute discomfort in close relationships, cognitive or perceptual distortions, and eccentricities in behavior

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Psychological Disorders

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder: a pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others

  • Borderline Personality Disorder: a pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, affects, and marked impulsivity

  • Histrionic Personality Disorder: a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking

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Psychological Disorders

  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder: a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy

  • Avoidant Personality Disorder: a pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation

  • Dependent Personality Disorder: a pattern of submissive and clinging behavior related to an excessive need to be taken care of

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Psychological Disorders

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder: a pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control

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Psychological Disorders

Axis III – General Medical Conditions

Axis IV – Psychosocial and environmental problems

Axis V - Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF)


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Psychological Disorders

Dissociative Disorders

  • Characterized by disruptions in consciousness, memory, sense of identity, or perception of the environment

  • DID

  • Dissociative Fugue

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Psychological Disorders

Eating Disorders

  • Anorexia Nervosa – distorted body image; efforts to lose weight that lead to dangerously low body weight

  • Bulimia – characterized by a binge-purge syndrome

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Psychological Disorders

Disorders usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence

  • ADHD

  • ODD

  • CD

  • Anxiety Disorders